CineDOC-Tbilisi festival to screen Dziga Vertov’s pioneering documentary, Sundance-winning film and more

‘Honeyland’ by North Macedonian directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska was awarded three prizes at the Sundance Film Festival. Photo: Sundance Film Festival., 02 May 2019 - 15:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

A premiere of famed director Dziga Vertov’s newly discovered century-old film, a Sundance-winning work from North Macedonia and focus on filmmakers from Hungary will make this year’s CineDOC-Tbilisi International Documentary Film Festival a major cinema celebration in the capital starting next week.


Set to bring six days of screenings and over 50 documentaries to the Amirani Cinema Theatre and a newly opened hall of the National Archives of Georgia, the festival’s programme has been redesigned to make the task of choosing screening dates for visitors easier.


This  year, we  wanted to make  it easier for you to get acquainted with the selected films and  to choose which ones to watch,” organisers said while announcing the selected films had been split into a dozen themed sections.

Ranging from Filmmaker in Focus — centred around the BAFTA-nominated director Nicolas Philibert — to Beyond Faith, Aftermath of Conflict and Erotic  Dox, the sections in the new programme are nevertheless grouped around the general question of human experience in contemporary era.



Some of the selections for the documentary festival still stand out of the six-day schedule, with the documentary festival set to premiere Anniversary of the Revolution, a 1918 work regarded as possibly the maiden feature-length documentary in history.


Following developments of the 1917 Russian Revolution, the lens of the pioneering director documented figures and the movement of the historic event. The film was subsequently lost and never screened in full before last year’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.


North Macedonian filmmakers Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska will be represented with their Sundance Film Festival prize-winning Honeyland, centred around a woman beekeeper in a remote village whose idyl is disturbed by a newly arrived family.


Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie, and she holds nothing back — not her tried-and-true beekeeping advice, not her affection, not her special brandy. But soon Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever,” a summary for the film says.

Honeyland received the Cinematography Award, Grand Jury Prize and World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award at this year's Sundance.


In a customary move, CineDOC will bring its spotlight on Focus Country, featuring Hungary in the 2019 edition. Dorottya Zurbo (Easy Lessons), Klara Trencsenyi (Train to Adulthood), Balint Revesz (Granny Project), Kata Olah and Sandor Csukas (Mignon) will be the creatives from the country whose works will be shown on the big screen.



Another documentary involving Hungarian co-production is Tbilisi to Tennessee — filmmaker Daniel Washington’s look at Shota Adamashvili, the only performer of country music in Georgia.


With 10,000 km keeping him from the life in Nashville that he so yearns for, if he wants a shot at making it here in Georgia, he must find inspiration at home,” the tagline for the 29-minute selection reads.

A range of films will also be grouped under Focus Caucasus to tell stories characteristic of the region, from Mari Gulbiani’s Sheffield Doc/Fest-premiered Before Father Gets Back to Adaptation by Armenian director Mane Baghdasaryan.


The former work, also screened at the Sarajevo Film Festival, tells the story of two girls from Georgia’s remote and troubled Pankisi Valley province who discover the inspiring power of cinema. The latter is a look at the contemporary Yerevan and “different groups of people” dwelling in the capital city.


These and other selections will screen at the CineDOC festival between May 8-13. The full programme of the 2019 edition can be found here.